A Guide to Awaken Tea
Why is my tea tasteless?
Aged tea needs to be awakened before brewing. After years of precipitation, aged tea has entered the hibernation state. Proper awakening tea is the only way to reveal aged tea's essence.
So, what's the meaning of awakened tea?
It means "awakening tea from a deep sleep". No matter how good the storage is, it also needs to awaken the tea, to better distribute the tea fragrance. Because after a long time, the tea may have a little "miscellaneous flavor", or the taste is not good, and the tea can not brew the proper aroma. Most of the aged teas need to awaken, and the time of awakening will be different for different teas. If the tea wakes up well, the aroma and taste can be improved to a higher level.
Method 1 | Dismantling Tea Leaves
"Dry-awakening" tea is the process of changing the way the tea is stored in order to awaken the quality and aroma of the tea. Through this delicate process of waking up the tea, the flavor of the tea can be made more mellow and pure. This process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months. This step is a good way to remove the odor and cohesion of the tea.
To dismantling tea leaves, you have to unpack the compressed tea, remove the packaging, and slowly pry up the tea leaves from the side of the compressed tea or tea brick.
Note | Be careful to follow the stripes of the tea leaves to avoid breaking the tea leaves. The correct way to pry off the tea is in pieces, with the tea strips/strips intact. Small scraps of tea are easy to block the pot's mouth, and the taste and concentration of the tea soup will be different when brewing.
Method 2 | Ventilation
Ventilation, If the tea has a peculiar smell, try this step. Put the tea ( after dismantling ) on a dry ( tray/cloth/bamboo sieve ) place in a dry and ventilated place. You can cover the tea with clean rice paper/cloth to prevent dust from falling off.
Caution | Be careful that the environment should not have a peculiar smell, and should not be placed in a place where sunlight or light refracts. The ventilation time depends on the tea condition. If the tea has no peculiar smell, the smell of dust is almost gone after 2-3 days. If necessary, the time can be extended. If you want the tea to "wake up" completely, you may need to wake it up further.
Method 3 | Tea Canister Storage
Teaware is not only about drinking utensils. How to store tea leaves is also an important aspect! Tea has strong odor absorption and is hygroscopic. And it is easy to absorb odor and moisture in the air. If the storage method is improper, it will lose its flavor and be difficult to preserve.
Pottery canisters or purple clay canisters have good air permeability and are very suitable for awakening tea, but you need to control the time well. Otherwise, excessive awakening will also dissipate the fragrance of tea.
Put the ventilated tea into the tea canister for further awakening, and store it for 2-3 months. If necessary, you can extend it for a longer period of time.
Pre-Brew | Wet Awaken Tea
"Pre-Brew" is one of the main steps and processes in the tea brewing process, which is conducive to the development of aroma and taste.
"Wet Awaken Tea" is a standard term for "waking-tea" which can also be called "Pre-Brew". The tea leaves are fully awakened by the temperature of hot water to wash away the floating dust attached to the tea leaves.
How to wet awakening a tea?
After putting the dry tea into the tureen/purple clay pot, then pour it into hot water (until the water level can cover the tea leaves), and then pour it out immediately. "Wet Awaken Tea" is often used in compressed tea, aged tea, etc. It can revive the tea, stimulate the tea aroma, and release the tea flavor.